Notre Dame is the latest school to join the race for Maryland athlete Ian Thomas, according to Franklin High School head coach Anthony Burgos.
“They offered him last week,” Burgos said of the 6-foot, 194-pound Thomas from Reistertown, Md.
Burgos sent the Irish staff Thomas’ film, the Notre Dame coaches evaluated it and got back to Burgos.
“They talked to me and said he was a kid of interest and they wanted to offer him a scholarship.”
The Irish join Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Southern Mississippi, Stanford and West Virginia. Penn State and Maryland like Thomas, who runs a 4.5, at cornerback and West Virginia likes him at safety, but most schools are looking at him at receiver.
“Because he’s a tremendous athlete, some guys have him on defense and some guys have him on offense,” said Burgos. “He has the ability to play on either side of the ball, but I think the large majority of his interest is on the offensive side of the football."
Notre Dame is one of those schools that sees him at wideout.
When Burgos took over as Franklin’s head coach in 2003, the school hadn’t reached the postseason in eight years, but by his fourth year on the job, Burgos had the Indians in the state semifinals and they have been to the playoffs every year since. This past season, Franklin reached the 3A state title game, where it lost 21-14 to Wilde Lake. Thomas scored both touchdowns in the championship game for the Indians.
Thomas finished the season with 50 receptions for 953 yards and 15 touchdowns
“He’s got a great body on him,” Burgos said. “He’s 6 feet, weighs 190 pounds. He runs well. He has a great personality. He’s a 3.0 student. An excellent kid all of the way around. Great morals, just a great young man to be around. It’s been a pleasure to coach him. There’s not too many times you get a kid who has everything so focused and has great character.”
Expect Thomas to focus on education, coaching staff and the program’s potential when making a decision.
“He’s going to focus on trying to see which coaches really have a stable job," said Burgos. "I think he’s looking at where he can get an engineering degree and play great football and possibly have the opportunity to play for a national championship.”
Thomas recently started taking visits with the hopes of narrowing his list of schools.
“Just getting an opportunity to see the campuses, meet some of the coaches,” Burgos said of the trips. “He wants to go into the summer with a game plan of what schools he wants to finalize as a top five and go from there.”
Irish assistant Kerry Cooks is handling Thomas’ recruitment. Thomas hopes to make it out to South Bend at some point, according to Burgos.
“He definitely wants to go there,” Burgos said. “Obviously, Notre Dame is one of the top schools out there. I know their record over the past couple of years might not say it, but still it’s a prestigious university and a great place to get a degree from.
“The tradition of the Irish is tremendous.”